Sunday, September 21, 2008

Battle of 'Britishness'.

Declaring support for the idea of a United Kingdom is all,the rage. A few weeks back, my good friend David Davies, MP for Monmouth was all over the Welsh media as he promised to launch a 'No campaign'. Must admit that I wasn't entirely sure about what the campaign was going to say 'No' to - but I think that I got the general drift. And for the last year we've heard our beleaguered Prime Minister banging on about 'Britishness', a policy which seems to have backfired spectacularly in Scotland. In today's Wales on Sunday, its the turn of Welsh Office Minister, Huw Irranca-Davies. I really cannot see the sense in anyone who is committed to 'The Union' striving to raise this issue to the top of the agenda. It can only help the other side of the argument. I cannot think of an intervention more helpful to the cause of 'Welsh Independence' than that of Huw Irranca-Davies today.

The article by Tomos Livingstone begins by drawing an analogy with Scotland. Huw is quoted as saying

"When the idea of independence becomes mainstream, as we've seen in Scotland, its a dangerous time socially, economically and politically".

Quite. At present the idea of independence is not remotely mainstream. It probably has no more support than its had for decades. So what's the point of repeating the strategy of Gordon Brown and giving the issue as much publicity as possible. Its nuts. I've always been opposed to the idea of 'Independence'. Most Welsh people take the same view, though there has long been around 15% who disagree. Some of them are readers of this blog. While they talk about the issue amongst themselves, its entirely harmless. There is only one way that the 'idea of independence' will become mainstream. Alex Salmond has shown us that. Persuade your opponents to talk about it all the time. Government Ministers should not be going around desperately trying to raise the subject as an agenda issue - probably in order to do no more than win some coverage in the Wales on Sunday.


alanindyfed said...

I suppose you too should be given thanks Glyn for highlighting the subject of independence. As I said in a posting on my blog independence should be in thwe minds and on the lips of the citizens of Wales, daily, until Independence Day dawns. Let us hope that more of these staunch Britishers who make news help us further in raising awareness of this issue so vital to the nation.

penlan said...

Does anyone read Wales on Sunday?

It never seems to sell here in Swansea although I have on occasion found it wrapping my fish and chips.

Glyn Davies said...

Alan - Your gratefulness is acknowledged.

penlan - I read it for the Welsh football reports, and for Matt Withers, who sometimes has a good line on Welsh politics. And for Spin Doctor of course. But very few others read it in Montgomeryshire.

Hen Ferchetan said...

So are you saying that the best way to defeat nationalism is not to talk about it and discuss it's pro and cons?

I see where you're coming from Glyn, but it sounds dangerously close to saying that Unionists should be scared of an open debate on the subject.

Glyn Davies said...

Hen ferchetan - The context of a debate makes a big difference. As far as I know, there is no greater demand for independence than there has previously been in my lifetime. Its just not an issue as far as Wales in concerned. So what on earth is the point of making it an issue - just so that it can be opposed.

alanindyfed said...

Actually, it has been an issue since 1406, following the demise of Owain Glyndwr!

Expect a boost to nationalist sentiment following the big win forthcoming in the Glenrothes by-election.